Joe Barton Needs to be Censured Now
Joe Barton, the ranking House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican, is circulating a slideshow via email in which he pledges to do for the Obama administration what Gen. Patton and company did for Germany, including “put anything in my scope and I will shoot it.” A party of integrity would call for a public reprimand via a censure of such behavior, but you can bet the Republicans will roll with this kind of reprehensible behavior so long as it continues to be politically advantageous among their base.
Last night, the Washington Post’s Al Kamen reported on Barton’s power point presentation:
“Then comes the money slide, titled: “What’s in Store for the Obama Administration,” with photos of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Generals Omar Bradley and George Patton in uniform.
“Speaker Boehner is our Dwight Eisenhower in the battle against the Obama Administration. Majority Leader Cantor is our Omar Bradley. I want to be George Patton – put anything in my scope and I will shoot it.””
Censure is a procedure for publicly reprimanding a public official for inappropriate behavior. It derives from the formal condemnation of either a congressional body of their own members. Article 1, Section 5 of the Constitution states that each house of Congress may set its own rules of behavior, and by two-thirds vote expel a member. So it’s up the current House ethics rules to determine whether he is censured. It might be argued that this did not take place on the House floor and therefor can’t be censured, but clearly if the House wished to take issue with Barton and thereby set an expectation of reasonable civility, they would find a way.
This isn’t the first time Mr Barton has played by his own set of ethics rules. CREW reports:
“In 2009, CREW called him out for finding “a way to a new low in Washington.” For Rep. Barton, the divide between money and politics doesn’t seem so wide….
According to a February 2010 article in the Dallas Morning News, Rep. Barton earned nearly $100,000 from an interest in natural gas wells purchased from a longtime friend and campaign donor, Walter Mize….
In April 2009, the Washington Times reported that Rep. Barton’s charitable foundation pledged to donate $900,000 to benefit the local Boys and Girls Club and Meals-on-Wheels programs. While the community lauded the Barton Foundation for its generosity, in reality the foundation only donated $90,000 to the Boys and Girls Club between 2005 and 2006 despite raising $397,467 during that same two-year period…
CREW first reported in 2004 on a scandal involving Westar Energy and members of Congress, including Reps. Tom DeLay, Billy Tauzin (R-LA) and Joe Barton (R-TX). According to a 2003 CorpWatch report, Internal memos released by Westar revealed a plan by executives to “get a seat at the table” during congressional discussions on former Pres. Bush’s 2002 energy plan by contributing over $56,000 to key republicans in Congress. Internal company communication identified Joe Barton and Billy Tauzin as “key House Conferees on our legislation.””
There’s plenty more where that came from, but by now you’re probably convinced that this man will not be held accountable in any way for his lack of ethics.
This man who thinks Obama is like a Nazi would like to run the Energy Committee, so it behooves us to ask just who does he think the good guys are? BP? Oh, yes, that’s right. Barton apologized to BP after the President held them accountable to the people negatively impacted by the Gulf Oil spill.
Barton’s slideshow is full of other false promises like repealing ObamaCares, which he knows he can’t and won’t do, but again, the base loves this circus act of irrational swaggering, and so on the clown show goes.
While Republicans may enjoy turning serious matters like governing into a one act clown show, and certainly their support for Ms Palin should leave no doubt in this area, the rest of America has their eye on important things like jobs, food, housing, and the corporate takeover of America. Republicans may eat up the hate, saliva drooling from their collective mouths at the thought of chicken Barton ever shooting anything (he who managed to avoid going to Vietnam), but Americans are repulsed by this sort of rhetoric.
Mr. Barton should be censured now. But since we all know Republicans don’t believe in good behavior and therefor will not censure their own (this is an activity they save up to use against Democrats), American citizens may wish to contact their representatives and demand that Barton not be given a leadership position in the House. Perhaps that will teach Mr Barton about the consequences of his actions.